There has been a lot of grumbling for the Oakland Raiders to trade the third-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft in order to stockpile higher draft picks. The theory is the more draft picks Oakland has at its disposal the more players it can bring in to help fix the issues. However, that is not the best thing for the Raiders to do this year.
The draft is deep in offensive linemen and defensive ends, but there are few premier defensive tackles like Sharrif Floyd or Star Lotulelei on the board for the Raiders. Oakland has to address the middle of the defensive line and both Floyd and Lotulelei, if healthy, will make a major impact right away on the defensive line and immensely improve the unit. By trading out of the third spot, Oakland may be able to address issues in the secondary and at linebacker, but it won’t grab the difference maker on the defensive line.
If a defensive tackle is miraculously not available at that spot, the Raiders still can find a difference maker in cornerback Dee Milliner. The Alabama product is one of the few premier defensive backs in this year’s draft class and will be a marked impact on Oakland’s secondary next season. Milliner is the type of player Oakland will not be able to get by moving down more than three picks, which is probably how far the Raiders would move if they trade out of the third pick.
Oakland has so many pressing needs it make sense to try and grab a lot of average to good players, but the difference of one marquee player will make up for some of the other deficiencies. A good pass rush will hide a porous secondary and great coverage will bail out a meek pass rush. A solid pass rush and an average secondary won’t be nearly as helpful as the alternatives.